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May 26, 2011

Hi everyone. Torso is under a brief hiatus while I get myself in order. I’ve had a lot of life changes in the last 6 months and they are really catching up with me and my psyche. I’ve got some things the works but I’ve got to take care of business first. I’ll be back, soon.

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Entrepreneur Spotlight – Five Faves: Chris Loss

April 2, 2011

Chris Loss, Herrin native & SIUC grad, has a new clothing company called Freshletes. Using a common sense approach to business combined with super clean, minimalist designs have helped him achieve something truly unique. We asked Chris to give us a sneak peak into his personal life with “Five Faves”

Age:28
Favorite music right now: Kid Cudi, Wolf Gang
Favorite music of all time: Early 90’s R&B
Favorite sports team: Chicago Bulls
Favorite pair of shoes: Air Jordans 12 & 13’s
Favorite food: Chocolate Cake, Anything Spicy

FYI: Freshletes is looking for models for the Spring 2011 line. They want someone who fits the brand, someone that has a fresh till death style and attitude. Inquiries can be submitted to the Freshletes facebook page.

Check out Freshletes at www.freshletes.com, on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Freshletes/120068118026994 and on twitter @freshletes

Interview: Mike Allen – Cutthroat Split Tail

April 1, 2011

No. IL Band Cutthroat Split Tail has been blazin’ the near Chicago suburbs for the last 2 years. I caught up with guitarist/vocalist Mike Allen to talk about Steve Albini, opening for Local H, and Japan. TorsoMedia is in Bold.

Hey, sorry I’m late, my girlfriend was looking up flights.

No biggie man.

Anyway what’s up?

Havin a day to relax. No band practice.

Awesome. You want to start?

Sure

So give me a little background about the band how did it form, for starters?

hmm…We started when i met Amanda and we wrote some songs in like 2008. She played the bass and I kinda wanted to come out of playing the drums

So do you two split the song writing duties?

At first she did most of the vocals and i did most of the writing but now its kinda even 50/50

Yeah I def. like when you guys split it up.

Its kind of like send a .doc, change, send back, repeat, repeat. We’ve got some new songs with the dual vox goin on. Usually i’ll come up with something and well rock it and then we’ll both find other stuff, stops, wierd shit, etc.

I really like your guitar playing a lot. Who are you guys listening to lately and who inspires your music (if not the same people/bands)?

The music scene around Lombard is pretty tight. Villa Park, in particular. Otherwise. We’re always listening to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Muddy Waters and lots of punk rock. The Ramones and Sex Pistols, in particular. The Who. Gotta love Keith Moon

Fuck Yes, Keith Moon. You guys recently opened up for Local H, right?

Yes. It was amazing. There were like 350+ people there maybe more, I have no idea. It was totally surreal. We sold all of our tshirts and demos.

Was that your biggest show so far?

Yes, definitely our biggest one so far. Brian St. Clair (Local H. drummer) is a bad mother fucker.

How did that come about?

It was from this talent agency gig at this peacefest campout in Elgin. The dude from the agency, Joey Dimarco hooked us up.

Sounds Awesome. Did you meet the guys of Local H at all. I’ve met Scott, he was kind of a dick.

Yeah, We met them. Brian is awesome. Scott is a dick to EVERYONE. He was bitching at some dude in the crowd. Then again all 5 times i’ve seen them he was bitching at someone. But I LOVE their music.

So you are 30 and your drummer is 21. Does that ever present any challenges within the band?

Nah, age doesn’t really make a difference as long as the chemistry is there. It’s only an issue when they are unde ager and can’t play bars

Very true. So what’s next for you guys. You have a couple shows coming up?

We’ve got this big ass show with 10 bands that benefits Japan, Red Cross will be there to help. April 16th. The American Legion Hall, 203 N. Edgewood Ave., Wood dale, IL. 3pm – 2am.

How did that come about?

I thought of it one day at work. Made some calls. All the slots were full in less than a day.

That’s really great of you.

Its for a good cause. Plus lots of exposure for all the bands. All around good time for everyone.

What about recording? Are you guys putting out any new material any time soon?

In april hopefully. We’re going to record a new record.

Where do you record?

My pick right now is to have Steve Albini record us at Electrical Studios. $3000. Or we can still go into Electrical for a significantly cheaper price with a different technician but it would be fucking amazing to have Steve record us.

Any last words?

Massive praise to the fender telecaster

Telecasters for life.

Check out Cutthroat Split Tail at http://www.reverbnation.com/cutthroatsplittail I recommend the song Chicago

See below for the Japan Benefit flyer.



Music to Improve your Day

March 30, 2011

PUJOL. Listen to it/him/them here: http://mysp.ac/dE7nqy

Trader Joe’s Questionable Practices

March 27, 2011

I like business, I like marketing. I have a marketing degree. But I really, really like consumer activism.

And I freakingg LOVE Trader Joe’s food, I LOVE $3 bottles of wine. But you know what I don’t like? Being lied to.

TJ’s comes off as a “cultural creative” company. From Wikipedia:

“The 2008 marketing text, Karma Queens, Geek Gods and Innerpreneurs, by Ron Rentel, was the first to identify the Cultural Creative subculture in entrepreneurship. Rentel named entrepreneurial Cultural Creatives “innerpreneurs”. Innerpreneurs have the defining characteristics of an entrepreneur:

  • high need for achievement
  • high need for independence
  • low need for conformity
  • internal focus of control
  • love of ambiguity
  • propensity for risk-taking
  • obsession with opportunity

But while entrepreneurs use their business for monetary gain, innerpreneurs use their business to find personal fulfillment (creatively, spiritually, emotionally) and create social change.”

Granted, TJ’s is not an entrepreneur, it’s a huge company. But for a company that puts things like this on its website:

“And that’s important, because “Value” is a concept we take very seriously. And by value we mean great everyday prices on all of our great products — no sales, no gimmicks, no clubs to join, no special cards to swipe… How do we do it?

  • We buy direct from suppliers whenever possible, we bargain hard to get the best price, and then pass the savings on to you.
  • If an item doesn’t pull its weight in our stores, it goes away to gangway for something else.
  • We buy in volume and contract early to get the best prices.
  • Most grocers charge their suppliers fees for putting an item on the shelf. This results in higher prices… so we don’t do it.
  • We keep our costs low — because every penny we save is a penny you save.

It’s not complicated. We just focus on what matters — great food + great prices = Value.”

See the pics below. If this isn’t a “gimmick” I don’t know what is. Furthermore, it’s downright wasteful. Yeah, I was petty enough to do the math. The total surface area of outer packaging is 102.625 sq. in., the total surface area of the 6 bars that come in the package is 36.375. So roughly 66.25 sq. in is waste. FOR NO REASON. That’s not even accounting for the wrapper. Granted I’m no math-magician, so my numbers could be a bit wrong. But it’s not hard to simply visualize the waste going on here. There are 353 stores. Now imagine there are 1000 boxes sold per year. That’s (353X1000)x66.25sq.in= 23,386,350 sq. in. of wasted material per year. Oh, I didn’t see any post-consumer recycled material markings on the box. Really though, I see this as dubious marketing. Who knows what other shit they are pulling under the guise of being different and caring.

Anyone else ever notice stuff like this? Post it in the comments. Email me at rm.torso@gmail.com for the xl sheet.

New Photo Series – Greatest Bathroom Graffiti Ever

March 26, 2011

I’m starting a new photo series here at TorsoMedia. People have done this, but I don’t care. This isn’t about the meaning of the work. Hell, it’s in a bathroom for christ-sake. I just want to post stuff that is awesome. Eventually when Josh Van Hoorebeke and I complete our plans for our online mag, Rad Age, this will appear there. Without further adieu, here’s the first installment. It may never be topped.

Cthulhu, War, Squids, Airplanes, and Religious Imagery. THIS IS ALL IN ONE BATHROOM!

Random Text Experiment

March 26, 2011

I’m doing an experiment about random texts. Send me a text. You don’t have to know me. Tell your friends. 312-608-4932

Thanks – Rob